Neesha and boys

Compartmentalizing to Balance My Life

For those of you that have followed me since 2010 on Chai Mommas you know staying busy is my normal. Not my new normal…my forever normal. Sitting on the sofa for more than an hour makes me feel unproductive and actually causes me more stress. I choose to be involved in so many things, so I can’t sit here and complain my life is too busy. But as I started this year off wanting to do even more, I found myself falling apart. Not falling apart because I was unhappy, but falling apart because I felt like I couldn’t get one single thing done by the end of the day even though I’d started at 5am. Then suddenly, I would look up to see it was already 11pm. I needed to balance my life.

Yes, having the kids at home for a full year now with online school has been a major contributor. But again, I don’t want to make excuses because I could remove things from my plate if I chose to. That’s just not me. I am committed to Chai Mommas. Plus, I work full time, manage both my kids’ soccer teams, co-lead my their school silent auction, and more. But I’m unwilling to give any of these things up, because they each bring me such joy.  

People ask, why and how do you do it all?  Growing up in our traditional Indian home, I didn’t get to do a lot of activities or be as involved. We were busy as a family working or making rotli or having another family over that we had to sit with the entire time. My parents didn’t get to watch my games or be a part of my school activities. Not because they didn’t want to but because they had to work.  

I just want to be able to do it all…for myself, my husband and my family.

It is only natural that we fall apart when things become unmanageable and as women, we have moments where we just want a glass of wine and a friend. I recently hit that moment and took time to reflect on what was really making me feel unproductive. I needed to balance my life. And I found a word that truly resonated:

Compartmentalize. Compartmentalize to balance my life.

I was never able to finish even one single task on my daily list simply because I had committed to more than I could feasibly accomplish. I’d start something, move on to the next, and never come back to the original task. Literally, I was all over the place and in reactive mode. My kids noticed I was scatterbrained and not my normal super organized self. So I am trying something new and I can’t even begin to tell my fellow South Asian women what a difference it has made!

I compartmentalize my life and my tasks. What does that even mean?

Time blocking or time chunking is when you block off specific times throughout the day to return phone calls, respond to emails, and check social media accounts. In the end, your schedule is broken into chunks of time where you focus on one task or project at a time. I plan my day out the night before and set time blocks so that I can at least check off one thing I got done FULLY within that block.  Even if my kids have a question, I am learning to teach them to practice patience and to wait until I am finished with what I am doing. Guess what…it’s taking me half the time to get my tasks done, and I feel so productive! I have less decision fatigue. And when my kids ask a question…I am actually paying attention. When it’s time to chill with them…I do ONLY that. I have so much more energy with my kids.

To all my OCD, task oriented, to do list loving ladies…try this method! Effective use of time blocking will help you take control of your day and focus your attention. And it helps big time with procrastination. At first, it may take some trial and error to create a schedule that works for you, but with a little practice and some patience, you will be a pro in no time. It’s a game changer.

Written by Chai Momma CEO, Neesha.

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